Title: A predictive study of effective properties and progressive failure of tri-axially woven SiCf-SiC composites

Authors: Sahil Ganesh Kulkarni; Xin-Lin Gao

Addresses: Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-3123, USA ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, TX 75080-3021, USA

Abstract: Effective properties and progressive failure of SiC matrix composites reinforced by tri-axially woven fabrics of SiC fibres (SiCf) are predicted using micromechanics and the finite element method. Two different orientations (i.e., −55°-0°-55° and −45°-0°-45°) of the woven fabrics are considered in geometrical modelling. Three-dimensional unit cells with the matrix reinforced by the fabrics in such orientations are constructed and used. Homogenisation analyses are carried out using the unit cell-based finite element models. It is found that the −55°-0°-55° fabric orientation provides higher effective elastic moduli and exhibits a response closer to being isotropic than the −45°-0°-45° orientation. The effective properties obtained are then used to conduct a progressive failure analysis of the SiCf-SiC composites subjected to uni-axial tensile loading. The progressive failure analysis incorporates both geometrical and material non-linearities, and describes the progressive damage induced by crack initiation and propagation via a material degradation model. The Tsai-Wu failure criterion is used, and a two-parameter Weibull distribution is employed to account for the changes in strength with increasing specimen volume. Based on this progressive failure analysis, true stress-strain curves for the SiCf-SiC composites are obtained.

Keywords: woven composites; effective properties; homogenisation; progressive failure analysis; SiCf-SiC composites; automotive composites; fibre-reinforced composites; silicon carbide; micromechanics; finite element method; FEM; crack initiation; crack propagation; material degradation modelling; stress-strain curves.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAUTOC.2014.064126

International Journal of Automotive Composites, 2014 Vol.1 No.1, pp.39 - 51

Received: 29 Apr 2013
Accepted: 04 Sep 2013

Published online: 02 Aug 2014 *

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